Spy Museum Announces Significant $500,000 Unrestricted Gift from Verstandig Family Foundation

WASHINGTON December 6, 2021 - The International Spy Museum (SPY) today announced a generous gift of $500,000 from the Verstandig Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization established by entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and philanthropist Grant Verstandig.

“We are deeply grateful to Grant Verstandig and the Verstandig Family Foundation for the trust and confidence in the educational mission of our Museum, especially as we continue to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said International Spy Museum Executive Director Chris Costa. “The Foundation’s generous support will make a significant, positive impact in keeping our Museum strong and ensuring our ability to expand access to our programs and exhibits for all members of our community.”

Verstandig is a private collector of espionage and intelligence artifacts with deep interest in the work of the Intelligence Community. He has served as an advisor to several organizations in the health, defense, foreign policy, and intelligence space, and is a senior advisor to the National Security Agency. 

He is a Founding Partner of Red Cell Partners, an investment and incubation platform that backs, builds, and scales transformative, technology-led businesses in health care and defense. He serves on the International Spy Museum’s Board of Directors.

SPY, an independent nonprofit museum dedicated to educating the public about the history and craft of espionage and intelligence, reaches thousands of individuals every year through its popular exhibits and an array of unique and thought-provoking educational offerings.  Its public programming went completely virtual for the first time ever during the pandemic, and SPY content reached nearly 4 million people in 2020 alone, with an audience spanning every state in the US and 60 additional countries. With the Foundation’s gift, SPY will expand its capacity to deliver unique in-person and virtual SPY programs, curriculum, and other resources, as well as continue the preservation of the Spy Museum’s Guinness World Record-winning collection of international espionage artifacts, the largest in the world on public display.  

“The Spy Museum’s leadership highlights the importance of the role of intelligence and espionage in today’s ever changing and interconnected global landscape,” said Verstandig.  “I am very honored to support this organization and hope that our gift will leverage others in the community to join us in supporting this organization.”

The Verstandig Family Foundation, which Grant Verstandig founded in 2017, supports various initiatives in education, national security, and entrepreneurship, animal rescue, and veterans’ health programs.  The Foundation is anchored in the philosophy of the Power of Purpose for giving and leveraging new ideas in philanthropy. 


About the International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity, is the only public museum in the United States to lift the veil on the tradecraft, history, and contemporary role of espionage and intelligence from a global perspective. The mission of the International Spy Museum is to educate the public about espionage and intelligence in an engaging way and to provide a context that fosters understanding of their important role and impact on current and historic events. The Museum's collection chronicles the history of espionage, from its inception to the modern-day challenges facing intelligence professionals worldwide in the 21st century. The original Spy Museum opened in 2002. Its new, expanded building and all-new exhibitions opened in May 2019 to much acclaim. 

For more information, please visit spymuseum.org.

About the Verstandig Family Foundation  

Launched in 2017, the Verstandig Family Foundation embraces partnerships with a mission to engage thought leaders, drive policy outcomes and build substantial programs in education, entrepreneurship, national security, health and wellness, and animal rescue.